Italy

Latest Features

Uefa has seen the value of its top-tier Champions League competition fall by a fifth in Italy for the coming 2021-24 cycle. But the drop has been cushioned by the entry of ecommerce giant Amazon, which has committed a considerable amount to acquire a package of rights.

Lega Basket, the governing body of top tier Italian basketball, saw its domestic pay-television media-rights income growth slow considerably in the 2020-22 rights round, driven by a significantly less competitive market.

US media group Discovery has made a modest investment in the Italian rights to WWE wrestling to help increase audience share of its DMAX channel and improve the sluggish take-up of the broadcaster’s Dplay Plus premium OTT service.

Italian pay-television operator Sky Italia has extended its deal for exclusive rights to the FIA Formula One World Championship. The deal was agreed with Formula One Management, the Formula One Group subsidiary that handles the commercial rights to the series.

The ruling this month from Italy’s highest administrative court, which brought an end to the legal battle over Sky Italia’s ability to acquire exclusive internet rights, was ostensibly good news for OTT operators. It prevents Italy’s dominant ‘legacy’ pay-television operator from buying these rights, at least until 2022.

The Brazilian arm of US pay-television broadcaster Turner has acquired the final package of Italian Serie A rights in Brazil

Pay-television broadcaster Sky Italia and commercial broadcaster Mediaset are closing in on the final packages of rights to the Uefa Champions League in Italy for the 2021-24 cycle

IMG Arena, the sports betting arm of the IMG agency, has agreed a long-term rights deal with Lega Basket Serie A (LBA), the top tier of Italian club basketball

Italian public-service broadcaster Rai is reported to have put forward a plan to close its sports channel amid a wider cost-cutting effort

Features

Pay-television operator Sky Italia has dropped the wrestling entertainment series WWE after broadcasting it for 18 years. The decision follows similar choices by Sky’s divisions in the UK and Germany.

Sky Italia’s victory this month in its challenge to the restrictions placed on its rights acquisitions by the country’s antitrust authority was comprehensive but not definitive.

Italy’s Lega Serie A will launch a tender in April for its domestic media rights for the three seasons from 2021-22 to 2023-24, SportBusiness Media understands. The delay opens space for the resolution of several outstanding issues that have, so far, complicated the process.

Pay-television broadcaster Sky Italia has paid a 50-per-cent uplift to agree a three-year extension of its rights to ATP Masters 1000 events and the end-of-season ATP Finals.

The Italian football league is finalising its guidelines for the tender process which must be approved by the country’s competition and communication authorities. The process is likely to be more complicated, controversial and political than the equivalent processes anywhere else. Story by Frank Dunne.

In the latest interactive monthly data report, SportBusiness Media analyses the media-rights landscape in Italy.

In the latest interactive monthly data report, SportBusiness Media analyses the media-rights landscape in Italy.

Competition between pay-television broadcaster Sky Italia and OTT platform DAZN for the rights to the American National Basketball Association ensured the former paid a substantial uplift for exclusive rights in the country from 2019-20 to 2022-23.

Italian public broadcaster Rai acquired the exclusive rights to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan at a two-thirds reduction in value from the previous edition after a long stand-off between the company’s internal departments.

Sky Italia is taking a calculated gamble in agreeing a two-year sublicensing deal with Mediaset for Uefa Champions League rights. Sky’s legal dispute with Italian public-service broadcaster Rai over the latter's option to renew the rights has not yet been resolved. If Rai eventually wins, it could sue Sky for damages.

The rights value in Italy for the pre-season International Champions Cup football tournament was weighed down by a combination of lower inventory, a busy summer sports calendar and a tough market environment, SportBusiness Media understands.

The Mediapro agency’s offer for the domestic media rights to Serie A for the next two cycles, covering the six seasons from 2021-22 to 2026-27, is a plan B for the league in case it is unable to sell its rights in a competitive tender. The offer is the same as that made by the Spanish production house for the current cycle – an offer accepted by the clubs last year but later rejected.  

The Italian competition authority’s investigation into the sale of rights for Serie A is ostensibly a disaster for MP & Silva and B4 and a let-off for IMG. But MP & Silva and B4 are no longer active and IMG could yet face a major problem. The agency could be hit with a substantial damages claim by the league for lost earnings.

DAZN picks up Copa América at bargain price as rivals focus elsewhere DAZN, Sky, Mediaset bid for International Champions Cup Rai to share Women’s World Cup with Sky, show Uefa U21s exclusively Pr

In rejecting IMG’s damages claim for nearly €60m ($67.2m) in April, Lega Serie A has presented the agency with a dilemma. Taking the league to court could be expensive with no guarantee of success. And there are issues of reputation and positioning in the market.

Mediaset ‘at the window’ for Champions League as Rai-Sky renewal talks stall Broadcaster is thought to have offered uplift on Rai’s €40m per season Refi

Italy remains the only one of Europe’s big five television markets where Fifa has yet to sell the rights to the 2022 World Cup, but world football’s governing body is understood to be in no hurry to come to market and there are several reasons why it makes sense to wait.

Italy’s second-tier football division, Serie B, is in talks with three agencies over its international media rights and expects to close a deal in the coming weeks, but exposure rather than revenue will b…

Italy’s Lega Serie A is heading for a big drop in the value of the media rights to the Coppa Italia and the Italian Super Cup following last year’s decision to take the rights in-house and sell market-by-market.